Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Mar 2009 06:44 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Privacy, Security, Encryption As he had already predicted, cracker Charlie Miller has won the PWN2OWN contest by cracking Safari and Mac OS X within seconds of the start of the competition. "It took a couple of seconds. They clicked on the link and I took control of the machine," Miller said after his accomplishment. He took home the USD 10000 prize, as well as the MacBook he performed the exploit on. Internet Explorer 8 fell a while later by cracker Nils, who also cracked Safari and Firefox after being done with IE8.
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Headlines that bleat "hacked in seconds" from sites purporting to be somewhat expert in operating systems is a bit disingenuous. The vulnerability was found and an exploit prepared and practiced well ahead of the contest. With the canned exploit at the ready the time to hack will always be pretty damn fast, computers tend to be pretty fast.

Is it news that the security consultant found an exploit in source code openly available and kept it to himself in order to win laptop and personal glory? Maybe. Is it news that an exploit once written and practiced would execute in seconds on modern computer hardware? Not really.

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